An Overview Of Chapter Seven

Introduction

Last Updated: Monday, July 25, 2016

A Chapter 7 discharges or wipes out many (most) debts and allows you to keep property which Florida has declared as exempt. The exemptions are generous, and couples and people with an average amount of assets will maintain much, if not everything, which is owned.

Bankruptcy through a Chapter 7 will stop garnishments, lawsuits, and harassment, both immediately and permanently. It will temporarily stop repossessions and foreclosures. A Chapter 7 filing will resolve credit card debt, medical bills, and old taxes.

A Chapter 7 is not a choice for you if you are behind on your mortgage and are trying to keep your home. In that case, you should consult us concerning a Chapter 13 filing.

There are income-based limits on who may file Chapter 7, as it is compared to your expenses (means test). The means test is complex and, therfore, it is important to speak with us so we can properly advise you of whether you qualify to file a Chapter 7. Do not rely on the Internet to figure it out yourself. If:

  • Your financial problems are mainly credit card, medical, and/or;
  • You owe old taxes, filed and assessed income taxes (over three years old) and/or;
  • You rent or are current on your mortgage, and/or;
  • You are current on your car payment or it is worth less than you owe on it, or has limited to no equity, and/or;
  • You are not looking to discharge child support, and in all but very limited circumstances, student loan debt (neither is generally dischargeable).

Then, Chapter 7 might be a fit for you. In the words of the United States Supreme Court, a Chapter 7 filing "[G]ives to the honest but unfortunate debtor a ... new opportunity in life and a clear field for the future effort, unhampered by pressure and discouragement of pre-existing debt."

Please call us to schedule your appointment for a Free Bankruptcy Consultation at one of our two conveniently located bankruptcy law offices either in Fort Lauderdale or Gainesville.